Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Keeping Business Travel Costs Down

With increasing fuel prices, it's inevitable that there will be a rise in the cost of travel. This means that cost of doing business for many companies will continue to put a serious squeeze on profits.  BBB is offering advice for small business owners on how to reduce travel expenses and preserve the bottom line.

Move meetings online.
While nothing can replace the work that is achieved with a face-to-face meeting, many businesses are reducing travel costs by conducting meetings and training through video conferencing.

Establish Reduced Rate Agreements.
Many major hotel and rental car companies will offer reduced rate deals for businesses through a contractual agreement. In exchange for the lower costs, the business establishes the company as a preferred vendor. Before entering into an agreement with a specific company, the business owner should make sure that the hotel or rental car company offers the most convenient services and locations for the travel needs of the business.

Dedicate a staff member to tracking down deals.
With countless Web sites offering discounted travel, finding deals can become a full time job. While dedicating a staff member to the sole task of booking travel seems like a counter-intuitive way to save money, some companies that are spending significant amounts on travel have found that the added salary expense is indeed less than the savings. It also allows the staff to spend more time doing their own job – such as tracking down sales leads – rather than tracking down travel deals.

Eliminate the perks.
Tough times call for tough measures and while a small business owner might not make any fans by limiting travel perks, it’s often necessary. Business owners should consider establishing travel policies for employees that include guidelines on booking flights, using preferred vendors and adhering to spending limits for entertainment and meals. 

For more advice you can trust on small business management, visit BBB online at bbb.org.

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